Posted in Rewatch, Star Trek, Television shows, tv reviews

The Rewatch 188: Conundrum

Series: Star Trek: TNG
Episode: 5.14 Conundrum (2/10/1992)
Rating: 3.7/5
Redshirt Status: 0/1/35

Notable Guest Stars:
Erich Anderson (Kieran MacDuff) He is best known for his role on Friday the 13th: The Final chapter, but he has been a reoccuring actor on several TV shows.
Liz Vassey (Kristin) –
She appeared for six seasons as Wendy Simms on CSI (the original).
Erick Weiss (Kane) –
Weiss is a reoccuring member of the Star Trek acting pool.  He appeared as Ensign/Crewman Kane twice in this season, and will appear in DS9


 So this episode has a love triangle between Ro, Riker and Troi.  I find love triangles annoying to begin with.  So I have to admit that colored my interaction with this episode.

The main plot however is interesting.  The Enterprise ends up with a case of ship-wise amenesia, very selective amnesia.  Basically they remember how to run the ship, and basic human interaction like how to talk and apparently make beverages, but whatever makes their personality has been hindered.

We, the audience, know that Kieran MacDuff is not the first officer.  We know he’s up to something.  However the rest of the crew doesn’t know.  They slowly learn more about what they are there to do, but it doesn’t sit well with anyone.  Eventually Picard hesitates when he realizes the “enemy” is defenseless. MacDuff  takes over and orders Worf to fire.

Worf, loyal to Picard and his honor, disobeys.  They manage to take down MacDuff and regain their memories, but not without some awkwardness.

I liked the idea of seeing them finding themselves in different roles.  Worf assuming command actually seems quite natural considering he’s still a Lieutenant.  Data should take up bartending as a hobby (although I wonder where Guinan was…and how she dealt with the memory loss.  Because she had a lot of centuries of memories to loose.

As for the Ro/Riker/Troi love triangle, I honestly don’t think Ro or Riker are interested in each other.  They might appreciate each other’s appearance, but I don’t think in normal circumstances they would have considered each other an option.  It felt really weird that they did in this circumstance.  However, it was a bit funny to see Ro mess with Riker at the end.  He kind of deserved that.

For an episode that over all isn’t horrible, you may wonder why I rated it a 3?  Because its largely forgettable.  In fact I did forget about it.  I have watched TNG all the way before, and yet this episode seemed new and unwatched to me as I watched it.  It has no connections with the rest of the season, and the aliens introduced aren’t really mentioned much in the future. So I took a little off for being unremarkable.  Still its not a horrible episode (other then the formentioned Ro/Riker/Troi thing)

Interesting Notes:

  • Written by Paul Schiffer and Joe Menosky
  • Directed by Les Landau
  • This episode won an award for Special Effects at the 1993 Emmy Awards.
  • Riker plays “The Nearness of You”, which he played in season 1


  •  Worf briefly in command
  • The cast did an excellent job


  • Love Triangles.  Just no.

Screencap via


A thirty-something Graphic Designer and writer who likes to blog about books, movies and History.

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